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tv   [untitled]    January 23, 2011 1:00am-1:30am PST

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be seen in this environment. it's been show in museum, in gallery, but never in a public setting. and it's kind of ideal for both myself and the works to have this real dialogue with the public not only in san francisco but people coming from all over the world. >> since the dawn of electricity, that light is something that people feel connected to and inspired by. personally, there is space to keep that alive, just finding balance. the key is to find some balance.
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>> could evening, and welcome to the january 19, 2011 meeting of the san francisco board of appeals. the presiding officer is tonya peterson, and joining her is vice-president kendall goh. to my left is the deputy city attorney, to provide the board with any legal advice. at the controls, -- we have representatives from city departments. sitting in the front row is joseph duffey, representing the department of building inspection. next to him, scott sanchez,
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zoning administrator, representing the planning department and planning commission. at this time, if you could please call the swearing in process and over the meeting guidelines. >> the board request that you turn off all funds, beepers and please carry on the conversations in the hallway. appellants, permit holders, and department responders each have six minutes to present their cases and three minutes for a bottle. people affiliated with these parties must include their comments with in these times. members of the public who are not affiliated with the party have up to three minutes each to address the board and or bottles. to assist the board and accurate preparation of minutes, members of the public who wish to speak
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on an item are asked but not required to submit a speaker card or business card to board staff when you come up to the lectern speaker cards and plans are available on the left side of the podium. the board is also welcome to common-sense suggestions. if your questions -- this meeting is broadcast live on san francisco government television, sfgtv cable channel 78, and meetings are available directly for purchase from sfgtv. at this point, we will conduct our swearing-in process. if you intend to testify at any of tonight's hearings, please
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stand, raise your right hand, and say i do after you have been sworn in were affirmed. do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony or about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? thank you. >> thank you. president peterson and members of the board, we have one housekeeping item, item number 8. appeal number 10-124 has been withdrawn and one not be heard this evening. moving on to item one, public comment, is there any member of the public would wish to speak on any item that is not on tonight's calendar? please step forward. >> members of the commission, i am the director of san francisco
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open government. last year, i was here related to the qualifications of the members of this board to carry out the duties of this board. most of that, unfortunately, was sort of a qausi-legal hassle about whether california laws related to the qualifications of the members of the boards of appeal apply. there are things that went back and forth, opinions and whatever. i will be honest, i am still not satisfied that is clear. but i would like to try to change the tone of the conversation, and i am not referring to another agenda item. i know that you will be electing new officers later on the agenda, and i like to see a more open attitude of this board towards members of the public when they raise what i feel are legitimate issues concerning the operations, policies, and procedures of the board, all of which are protected by the brown
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act in sunshine ordinance, not to mention our right as citizens to come forward and address for redress of grievances. i believe that the reason that the california qualifications are there is to ensure that members of the board are not reliant solely on the recommendations provided them by other parts of the government. i believe the fact that maybe the members of the board did not have qualifications related to the duties that carry out, that is not fair and not only to the general benefit of the public but also members of the public to appear before you. if the city agency recommends a certain thing, there will be a tendency to defer to them. it cablecasting is in such a term as you may not realize -- they may couch something in a term or you may not realize what
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they're saying is true, which would also figure into the decision. it puts the whole onus of refuting that and dealing with that on the person who was questioning that, and that is usually a member of the public. i am asking, as you move into this next year, will you honestly commit to making an effort to ask yourself this question -- would or would not the citizens of this city and board of appeal be better served by having people who do have qualifications, specifically enabling them to do a better job? one thing i will ask you to notice, had never asked anybody to resign or said you should get off or quit. i simply said it would be better, and that as all i am asking you to consider, consider whether it would be better in the long term to ensure that in the future people appointed to this board are better qualified. >> thank you, sir.
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is there any other public comment under item 1? seeing none, we move on to item two, which is the election of the president and vice president to serve for a one-year term. in part as the president and vice president, the what will be elected at the first regular meeting of the board held after the 15th day of january each year. tonight is the board's first meeting after january 15 and as such the election of officers is on the calendar. before proceeding, i like to take a quick moment to thank both. this and that -- to think both president peterson and vice- president goh for their service this year. it is much appreciated. i think starting with the office of the president, is there any member of the board who would like to nominate a colleague or themselves for the office? president peterson: i'd like to start. thank you, director. i would like to say what a
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service that has been to be president and hear from the community, and despite what we just heard from the public, i think we have tried at to amend our rules to make this easier process and more fair for the public. as my last act as president, is a great pleasure that i nominate vice president kendall goh for the presidency. complot her for her long experience in legal lot -- i compliment her for her long experience and longlaw, and she is an absolute pleasure to work with. i like to nominate vice president kendall goh for the presidency. >> thank you. are there any other nominations for this office? seeing none, is there any public comment before we vote? seeing none, could you call the roll?
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i don't think your microphone is on. >> sorry. we have a motion from ms. peterson to nominate ms. goh to the presidency of the board. on that motion, mr. fung? commissioner fung: aye. ms. goh? vice president goh: aye. >> the vote is 5-0, and ms. goh is elevated to the presidency of the board of appeals. vice president goh: thank you. >> congratulations> > goh. moving on to beat vice-president office, are there any nominations? vice president goh: i'd like to
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jump in and thank president peterson and the other commissioners. that has been interesting. i have learned a lot and i was honored to serve as vice president and very honored to serve as president, and as my first act, i would like to nominate commissioner hwang. dish is very well-prepared for all of the hearings, despite all of her obligations including being a partner at law firm. she asks relevant questions and i find her rulings to be very thoughtful. with that, i nominate commissioner hwang. >> thank you. are there any other nominations for this office? commissioner fung: i like to nominate commissioner michael garcia. >> ok. are there any other nominations? seeing none, commissioners,
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the want a discussion or should i call for public comment? vice president goh: commissioner fung, do you want to elaborate on your nomination? commissioner fung: i think that my nomination has nothing to do with the qualifications of commissioner hwang, who in the short time she has been here i have got to respect tremendously her approach and analysis of the cases and how she articulates her position. i thought that perhaps a little more time i and would be worthwhile, and i think at times it does not happen very often,
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the vice president has to take over and i would like to create a situation where there is some level of experience. >> ok, and the other commissioners? seeing none, is there any public comment on the nomination of vice president? >> commissioners, unfortunately, i rise to object to the possibility that mr. garcia could be elevated to a position of an officer of this board. i unfortunately have experienced a number of interactions with him in this chamber and i feel that he has a temper met which is very dismissive towards public comments. he has a tendency to react, and
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unfortunately, although i could not prove that, i think it may affect his vote on certification. i now think he would be affected were willing to deal fairly with the public and position as vice president and now with some budget -- and strongly object to that position. >> is there any other public comment? seeing none, commissioners, i believe the protocol would be to call role on the first motion, and if that fails, call role on the said motion. commissioner peterson: before we vote, could i make a comment? thank you again for the comments from the public. i want to take this opportunity to disagree. commissioner garcia has had a long service, and i think both
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candidates would be very capable and very open to the public. one observation as i sit here is that we would have a mix of leadership of a female and male in these positions, but i think some of these comments to ed about commissioner garcia are not fair. >> i am assuming both nominees would like to move forward with the vote on these positions? ok, if you could please call the roll out on this motion. >> so the first motion is from newly elected president goh to elevate miss chris hwang to the vice presidency of the board. on that motion, mr. fung?
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commissioner fung: no. commissioner garcia: no. >> ms. peterson? commissioner peterson: no. >> ms. hwang? commissioner hwang: aye. >> thank you, the vote is 2-3. >> since that motion does not pass, call the next motion. >> and that motion was for mr. fung to elevate mr. garcia to the vice presidency. on that motion, goh goh? president goh: no. commissioner garcia: aye. commissioner peterson: aye. hwang no. >> the vote is 3-2, and mr. garcia is elevated to the vice presidency of the board of appeals. commissioner peterson: okay, congratulations.
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>> we move on to item three, which is commissioner comments and questions. commissioners? and item four, which is the adoption of minutes. icommissioner garcia: i had bridget commissioner fung: i had one comment. i thought we had change the way we tally the vote, when there's somebody not attending? if there is no correction, i would like to correct that threat. -- i would like to correct that threat. >> thank you for that correction. president goh: there are no
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further comments to adopt that correction? >> is there any public comment on the minutes? seeing none, if you could call the roll, please? >> on that motion from the president ought to adopt the january 12 minutes with those clerical amendments out -- [roll call vote] the, the vote is 5-0. those minutes are adopted. >> thank you. moving into a regular agenda, if you could call item 5a, please? >> call 5a, the first agenda
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item. it is a rehearing request, 10 lundys lane, so verses dbi. at that time, the board voted 3- 1-1 to uphold the subject permit on the basis that the construction predates the 1978 planning code change and is a legal not complying structure. the permit holder is sam ball. >> mr. soto, you have three minutes. >> i have an overhead to show. madam president, members of the board, my wife could not attend. the board said on the record that you want to avoid variance hearings for the owners and you did it by planning the demolished extension was legal not complying, but you did not support these findings. the deputy city attorney suggested that due to no permit history, a letter with building
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without a permit, and the sand format. this is not just or equitable because of lack of notification, asking for fair and legal due process. it is only 10 feet beyond the legal limit, but on the 60 foot and 70 ft what, this is a huge amount. we did not present a case against the variance because we were told you could not grant the variances, but how was what you did different from granting a variance? their counsel told you that properly notified all along, a group of adjacent household
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suddenly change their minds. that is false. notice before original permit, six closed household, they said it cannot notified at all or were almost out rigorously miss notified. we asked you to hear our voices by sending correct legal various process. new evidence in the case includes a quota that will block are like and consistent or better punctuated letter from the castillos who are telling the truth for the people they grew up next to. the latest brief in the initial brief. now they claim nobody ever mentioned these things before and that we are racist. that is not true. they could have easily modified their plans.
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they want to turn the 12th and 50 legal square feet and to 2860 and will not settle for less. we previously showed serious inconsistencies on this plan and permit cluster. a new piece of evidence is under ceqa review. before finally realizing the noncompliant part of this. thank you. >> mr. gladstone? >> good evening. i am representing the. -- i am representing the permit holders.
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this is the fourth permit they have appealed to you. and it interim before this, they appealed to the board of supervisors, 11-0 decision last time at this hearing. we had 30 supporters last time, only 10 of them spoke. i think there are five here tonight. the important thing is i have not heard any additional evidence i have heard rhee arguing the same case, and that is not grounds for rehearing. second, if you hear from the sotos, that x neighbors, they need to explain why that testimony from their former neighbors were offered last time, and that is another criteria for whether this is worth rehearing. let me also point out that there has been a bunch of inconsistent statements in writing from the castillos and the most recent is
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there a letter attached to the recent brief, which indicates they're talking about a rear porch, where as in previous letters they were talking about a rear room, laundry room. that and all the other inconsistencies, i ask you to take into account the credibility of people that you hear, and i also think he should ask yourself what is the former neighbor, one who actually admits that he built a house without permits, is doing tonight in coming before you to talk about how his former neighbor, the appellants, are good people and you should take their word for what they're saying here tonight. we don't understand why the castillos are arguing tonight for a smaller building than the one they have lived in for decades, because that is what is being proposed here.
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with that, i would just like to say that i feel sorry for the castillos, what they went through, and how they left this property is not a pleasant story. but the year that it has taken my clients to go through for appeals and a threatened fifth is not a pleasant process either. we think there were legal grounds for finding that a permit could have existed. you have made decisions before, and while the default stands that if a permit does not exist the building is not legal, you have ruled given that your equitable powers that the fault stance can be ignored when the equity and there is enough evidence provided otherwise, and that is the finding that emit less time. thank you.
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>> thank you. mr. sanchez? >> thank you. scott sanchez, planning department. first, congratulations president goh and vice president garcia. it think it very much for your continued service. -- thank you very much for your continued service. the board of supervisors heard the appeal of the informal review document on january 11 and the board unanimously upheld the ceqa termination. i personally did not see any new information that could have been presented at the previous hearings. also, what i will leave the finer legal distinctions to the city attorney, this is not a variance should the board find that it is a legal not complying structure. that is different from a
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variance. that is creating a new discrepancy from the planning code. this would be the board's finding that it was existing and legally permitted at a time when such a building envelope could have been permitted, which we believe was demonstrated at the previous hearings. i'm available for any questions. thank you. >> is there any public comment on this item? please step forward. >> members of the board of commissioners, thank you very much. i live a block away from 10 lundys lane. we used to have plates, our children, and spent a lot of time talking about her students at hillcrest elementary. it was not until i became the
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pta co-chair that are shared school that i realized how crucial dedicated teachers are to our education and what a tragedy it would be if a teacher liked anne were forced to leave by the cost and complexity of the housing situation which she finds herself in. i am alarmed at the delays that have taken place to the permitting process on this property and even more alarmed at the prospects of another hearing will add more delay or cost. i am frightened they will be forced to leave and hillcrest will lose one of their best teachers. it is it isanne, who is committed to raising her kids in san francisco. they are not rich, they are a
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teacher and a documentary filmmaker, but i have put together enough money to put a downpayment on this house that they were able to afford only because it is derelict. my own property is next door to what was a derelict house and i have sympathized with the neighbors who have had to put up with the inconvenience and difficulty of the construction on the neighboring site. the house their arrest has been changed into five condominiums, so there are many more people around, but it is worth it because a house without people in it is not the house, it is not a home, it is just a shell. a community without any people is not a community, and they are part of our school committee and the neighborhood in which i live, and it is very important to me that they should be up to stay. it is itanne and sam who have turned this into a neighborhood.